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Origins: Legend of the Rebel Soldier

DigiTrad:
SHALL MY SOUL PASS THRU OLD IRELAND?
THE LEGEND OF THE REBEL SOLDIER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (17)
(origins) Origin: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland (19)
Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (18)
Lyr Req: Will My Soul Pass Through Ol' Ireland (3)
Lyr Add: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (2)
Lyr Req: Will My Soul Pass through the Southland? (4)


Rambler 23 Sep 00 - 02:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 00 - 03:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 00 - 03:47 PM
Gern 24 Sep 00 - 10:57 AM
Les B 24 Sep 00 - 01:24 PM
Rambler 25 Sep 00 - 01:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 00 - 06:12 AM
paddymac 25 Sep 00 - 10:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 00 - 01:37 PM
MartinRyan 25 Sep 00 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Les B 25 Sep 00 - 05:42 PM
Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM
Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 01:57 PM
Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 02:54 PM
Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 04:21 PM
MartinRyan 01 Oct 00 - 05:00 PM
MartinRyan 01 Oct 00 - 05:47 PM
Rambler 01 Oct 00 - 10:38 PM
MartinRyan 02 Oct 00 - 05:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Oct 00 - 06:32 AM
MartinRyan 02 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Les B 02 Oct 00 - 01:22 PM
Uncle Jaque 02 Oct 00 - 10:54 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Oct 00 - 11:28 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Oct 00 - 11:37 PM
Rambler 04 Oct 00 - 09:54 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Oct 00 - 10:53 AM
Rambler 05 Oct 00 - 04:02 PM
Wolfgang 06 Oct 00 - 08:17 AM
GUEST 24 Jun 14 - 01:01 AM
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Subject: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:50 PM

I am researching the background of a song titled "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier", which is supposed to be a Confederate song at the time of the Civil War. It is supposed to be a direct rewrite of an Irish folk song / ballad, "Shall my soul pass through old Ireland". Both songs are contained in the database for this site. Although the Civil War version appears in modern Confederate songbooks, I have been unable to verify that it was a song or poem at the time of the Civil War or shortly afterwards. If anyone can come up with any type of material that can verify that this was a song or poem of the Civil War time, I would be most appreciative. Currently, my research indicates that the song may have been arranged / written? in 1963 by the blue grass singer Charlie Moore, who also recorded it along with other groups, including The Country Gentlemen, for which it became a signature song. What I don't know is whether Moore simply rewrote the Irish song or actually revised and updated a Civil War song or poem. His song is supposed to be in the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music. As for the Irish song, where I started my original research, I am, also, trying to verify the earliest date it became public and whether an author was ever attributed to it. It is supposed to commemorate the death of Terence MacSwiney, who starved himself to death in a British prison, in 1920. If the "Legend" is a true Confederate version rewrite, then the history of the Irish song is incorrect.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 03:35 PM

If you do a search for Bingen on the Rhine (believe it or not) through the "Digitrad & Forum Search" box on the main Forum page, you'll find a lot of related material, some of which may provide useful pointers for further research.  If memory serves, the tune to which Shall My Soul Pass was set is traditional and a lot older than the song.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 03:47 PM

Shall my soul pass through Old Ireland is definitely from the time of Terence MacSwiney's death. I'd be very surprised if it's a rewrite of an American Civil War Song (though the tune's been around a bit). Which suggests that the Rebel Soldier is a modern song based on the MacSwiney song.

Of course it could still be drawing on a bit of verse from the American Civil War, rejigged to fit the tune and shape of the Irish song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Gern
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 10:57 AM

I just want to add that this thread is an example of Mudcat at its best. The posts here are astonishingly informative, linking together various topics of interest to me in a manner not available in other resources. I'd rather read pages of such dialogue than a single post of "What's your favorite sitcom?"


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Les B
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 01:24 PM

According to the "Bluegrass Songbook" by Peter Wernick, "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier" is by Charlie Moore Copyright Zap Publishing Co., B.M.I, and is based on the Irish classic "Kevin Barry". It has been recorded by both The Country Gentlemen and by Charlie Moore.

I recognize the tune as "Kevin Barry" -- is that the same tune as "Shall My Soul Pass"?

I too doubt that the words to Rebel Soldier go back to the Civil War, they are good enough that they would have appeared in many an anthology of Civil War songs !


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 01:53 AM

Thanks to all of you who have responded so quickly to my request and for your input.

Malcolm Douglas: I have sent you a direct message and most of the points in that will be covered here for everyone,

McGrath of Harlow: After reading below, will you post or send to me how you know the song "Shall my soul..." is "definitely" from the time of MacSwiney's death and not possibly before.

Les B: Does the Bluegrass Songbook give the ealiest date for the song? I have 1963.

The songbook is almost surely incorrect in stating that it is based on the Irish classic "Kevin Barry". The words, with the exception of geographical locations and other minor changes are absolutely identical to "Shall my soul...". The melody may be to "Kevin Barry"; but the words, almost wholesale, belong to the song I am researching. You can verify this in the database at this site.

I should point out that Terence MacSwiney(starvation) and Kevin Barry(hanging) died within one week of each other in 1920. So the "Kevin Barry" song is definitely 1920, or later in the same decade possibly. The song "Shall my soul... is said to commemorate Terence MacSwiney. The question I am raising is whether that is the earliest date for the song? A true CW version, as a rewrite of the Irish song from an even earlier date would prove the MacSwiney reference wrong.

I should, also, point out that "Shall my soul... definitely preceded Charlie Moore"s song, at least to MacSwiney's time, if not before. My mother who was born in 1912 in Ireland(immigrated to the U.S. at age 18) knew the song sometime as a child. She passed it along to me along with many others. This confirms that the song was around in the decade of 1920-1930, before my mother immigrated. It , also calls in question the "originality" of the Charlie Moore song.

What I have been trying to determine is whether it is an even earlier song. When there were statements that "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier" was a "Confederate" rewrite of the Irish song, it prompted my search to attempt to verify whether there was a true Confederate poem or song.

The song "shall my soul..." is said to be a shorter and simpler rewrite of "Bingen on the Rhine", a poem by Caroline Norton(1808-1877) and published possibly between(1847-1859). I am giving consideration to the possibility that the Irish song was written closer to the date of publicatin of Bingen, to commemorate all Irish prisoners in British prisons.

The song may have been later revived and possibly changed to commemorate MacSwiney and, since then, has ben passd down in oral history as his song. I have seen variations where the words "British prison" were changed to "Brixton prison" which is the exact prison where MacSwiney died. This is the version I learned. The only words that tie this song specifically to MacSwiney are "Cork city grand", of which he was Lord Mayor, and these could have been an addition to the original version. If the Irish song was written specifically for MacSwiney, then someone waited 60 to 70 years, after the publication of Bingen, to do a rewrite specifically for MacSwiney.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 06:12 AM

What I meant was that the McSwiney song, as we've got it definitely dates from 1920 - ie, it's not significantly later. And it can't very well be earlier.

The tune of course, as I said has been around a good bit - it's the same as Rolling home to Dear Old England/ Ireland/Scotland/St Helena.

Whether the McSwiney song is a rewrite of an earlier one about Irish prisoners in general, I couldn't say, though I'd have thought that if it had been the earlier one would have survived. The idea of a song about someone dying in hospital is about all it takes from "Binghen inthe Rhine", and since that was actually what happened in McSwiney's case, there's no need to assume that's where the idea came from.Apart from the situation, they are not very similar.

There seem to be two Confederate songs here - one is the one in the DT as "Soldier from Missouri", which does seem to be from the time of the Civil War, or soonish afterwards, and could be a rewrite from "Bingen on the Rhione"(I don't like the word parody in this context). And the other is the "Legend of the Rebel Soldier" song, which is extremely close to "Shall my Soul Pass Through Old Ireland". Clearly one is a rewrite of the other.

What I'd guess has happened is that the "Soldier from Missouri" was written by someone who knew "Bingen on the Rhine". "Shall my Soul pass through Old Ireland" was written, possibly drawing on some earlier song which could have been linked to "Bingen on the Rhine", but not necessarily. And "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier" was rewritten from "Shall my Soul pass through Old Ireland", by someone who may well have known the "Soldier from Missouri." Which is esentially what I suggested in my earlier post.

Of course this is speculative, and it could have happened the other way round, with the "Legend" being rewritten from the "Missouri Soldier", and "Shall my Soul" rewritten from that. But if that had happened, I think the "Legend" would have turned up a lot sooner. The only real way to be sure about that is finding out where the songs were collected from.

The strange thing is that "Kevin Barry" and "Shall my Soul" seems to have been written and passed instantly into the repertoire of singers with the same tune, more or less simultaneously, with no indication that either is in any way a rewrite of the other.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: paddymac
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 10:33 AM

An info bit: "MacSwiney,Terence (1879-1920). MacSwiney, who had succeeded Thomas MacCurtain as Sinnn Fein lord mayor of Cork, died at Brixton prison, London, on 25 October on the 74th day od a hunger strike following his imprisonment for possessing a Royal Irish Constabulary cipher." (Oxford Companion to Irish History)


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 01:37 PM

And Kevin Barry was executed on November 1st 1920.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 05:21 PM

There was an earlier thread on this one - not sure it adds much to the above. Click here. My own earliest recollection of the Irish one is in a manuscript collection made by a great aunt of mine in the early 20's.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 05:42 PM

Unfortunately the Bluegrass Songbook didn't have a date.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM

Thanks to all that posted since my last input. Since there is so much to input, I have decided to make shorter posts by addressing them to individuals or on specific subjects. I, also, realize that the research is really on 2 parrallel tracks, one for the Irish song and the other for the possible CW version. As much as possible, I am going to try to stay specifically after the initial questions that I raised for each. I am trying not to get side tracked chasing down every possible connection that comes up. I will come back to those only when other sources dry up.

Les B: In your initial post you indicated that Zap Publishing Co., BMI held the copyright to Charlie Moore's song. Do you, or anyone else reading this, have the most current contact information, of any type, for that company.

Cont. See next post to:McGrath of Harlow.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM

Charlie Moore received HUGE honours for "composing" that song, and the Country Gentlemen" won "Song of the year", Band of the year etc. from many Bluegrass Awards groups. Always thought it was a pretty easy re-write for Charlie. He says he got it from "Kevin Barry". He was a pretty strong Bluegrass singer, but not well known in the mainstream.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 01:57 PM

McGrath of Harlow:

The earlier Irish song I refer to may be the one we know today with changes to add the reference to Cork. With every set of lyrics I am sent(5 different versions so far), there are minor differences in words or lines in each one.

I agree with you that "A Soldiier from Missouri" is far closer to Bingen in length, style and substance than " Shall My Soul...", which is far shorter and ties into Bingen mainly in the theme of dying as a soldier or prisoner away from your homeland. As indicated in my earlier post, I am going to try to stay away from moving too heavily into researching "A Soldier from Missouri"; but may have to tie in music sheet publication dates. See next post regarding Bingen.

Bingen may, in fact, turn out to be more important than we thought. With just minor searching, I found 7 items, either serious or a parody of Bingen. That sent me searching for sheet music.

For those wanting the verses to Bingen, go to The Poet's Corner at:

www.geocities.com/~spanoudi/poems/nortonO1.html

When the page comes up, scroll down to Bingen which is the last selection.

cont. See next post on Bingen.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 02:54 PM

Bingen on the Rhine:

As I indicated at the end of my last post, I went searching for possible sheet music for Bingen. I found American sheet music at the Levy Sheet Music site on the power search page of this site or at:

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/index.html

The home page will come up - call up search. On that page fill in "search for" with " A soldier of the Legion" Click on any tag to the right and pull up "first line" Ask it to search

It will pull up 3 documents showing not only sheet music; but performances in Boston as early as 1847, some 14 years before the CW. I searched just the Levy site to see if it also contained sheet music for "A Soldier from Missouri"; but came up empty. If anyone has source data for sites showing sheet music publications and/or performances for the "Missouri" song (preferably 184?- 1870s), whether in the North or the South, please post. I am, also, looking for sites like the Levy one that would show sheet music in England for Bingen, sometime after 1840. Bingen was probably put to music by Ms. Norton in England first, and then it found its way to the U.S. It could have just as quickly found its way to Ireland.

What the above shows is that we are not looking at just some 150+ year old poem; but possibly a poem and song that may have been quite popular in its time. Since Bingen is always used as the reference for other rewrites, it might be that Bingen was to its time as Pete Seeger's song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" was to the 1960(s), in its theme of the death of young soldiers. One thing the sheet music does do is that it partially shoots holes in my thinking that "Shall My Soul..." had to have been brought to the South by the Irish before you could have had "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier", if a true CW version existed. I would like to find references for some sheet music and/or performances of Bingen in the South, preferably (184?-1870s).

cont. See next post to: Martin Ryan.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 03:48 PM

Martin Ryan:

Thanks for the link to an earlier discussion some, 3 to 4 yeas ago, of "Shall My Soul...". In the version given in the post, the last verse contains the word/phrase "kill-ress-a-lenee". Is this phonetic Gaelic for "pure as a lily"? This is the first version I have come across that refers to or contains any Gaelic at all. You also mention that you first remembrance of this song was in a "manuscript" collection of your great aunt, sometime in the 1920s. Are you talking about published document /sheet music or handwritten verses.

I am, also, aware, from a post of yours on 9/21/00, that you live in or around Dublin City and are familiar with the Irish Traditional Music Archive(ITMA). I should let you know that I have tried to contact them; but they refuse to accept e-mails from the general public. I even tried to have the National Library of Ireland(NLI), whch has tried to work with me, attempt to send my e-mails to ITMA; but they refused to give their e-mail address even to the library.

Therefore, I believe I will wait until I gather most of my data and then fax ITMA and see if they will respond. I realize that they may be one of the better sources for establishing the earliest date for "Shall My Soul...", in some form. However, at this time, it may be like looking at the answers to the crossword puzzle before doing it. I would prefer that we fill in as many of the squares as possible, before contacting them, so that we can put their response in perspective, especially if their answer refers only to oral history.

I should. also, point out that I have been trying to ascertain whether Terence MacSwiney had children, to see how historically accurate the song was with the words "If you meet my little daughter". A thorough search of the web, reference books and any number of Irish history texts came up empty. I then tried to contact Dr. Francis Costello, who wrote one of the two biographies of MacSwiney. Apparently, he is currently living in Ireland, and is not that accessible. An inter-library loan of his book, may take me up to a month to receive. To shorten the time, I have contacted the Irish Studies Program at Boston College in Massachusetts, where Dr. Costello also has a degree from, and have placed the MacSwiney family question before them. I am currently awaiting their response. I should point out that for those interested in Irish Studies, including a major program in music, you might want to look at this program. Their site has a very strong links page as well. You can reach them at:

www.bc.edu/irish

cont. additional posts will follow responses to my posts of this date.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: GUEST,Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 04:21 PM

Rick Fielding:

Thanks for yor additional input on Charlie Moore. Would you post the source material for your information, and give the specific years the individuals won the awards cited, if you know? Do you have any copyright information different from the Zap Publishing Co. given by Les B? If you have contact information for Zap,it would be appreciated.

It feels good to know that I am not alone in questioning the "originality" of a song that apparently received so much praise. If you are aware of others that may be able to provide input on any of the open questions, please draw their attention to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 05:00 PM

Rambler

(i) The manuscript was a collection of handwritten versions, on hand-stitched papers - since vanished.

(ii) I don't recognise the phonetically rendered Irish, particularly - will check it out.

(iii) The Irish Traditional Music Archive is understaffed and under-equipped. I know they would love to be more helpful in cases like this - but it is not practicable.

While I don't now live in Dublin, I'm in the archive fairly regularly and will see what I can find out on this one, when I get a chance. Send me a PM with details of what you would like to check and I'll post a reply here if possible.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 05:47 PM

The only printed version I can find among my own collection is in Patrick Galvin's "Irish Songs of Resistance", under the title "Terence McSwiney". It has three verses only - one is the one usually given as chorus. It doesn't have the third person last verse with the odd phrase. Galvin gives no soruces or reference.

I had thought of checking Zimmerman's "Songs of Irish Rebellion" - but I think he stops at 1900.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 10:38 PM

Martin Ryan:

Is the "Irish songs of Resistance" an Irish or European publication, and what was the date of publication? Am I correct, that the title on the version in this publication is simply "Terence MacSwiney" and not " Shall My Soul..."? Does this version use the words "British prison" or "Brixton prison", and "Cork city grand" or "Cork city strand"? It is funny you should mention the absence of a third verse, because I never knew there was a third verse until I started to research the history behind this song. Was there anything different that appeared in this version that did not appear in all the other versions you have in your collection or in the versions already identified in this thread?

As for Zimmerman's "Songs of Irish Rebellion", where was that published and when? To test my theory, that the original song might be earlier than Terence MacSwiney's time, could you check that reference by the 2 titles we know. If the text is not too voluminous, could you check for a similar song or poem that might be in there under a different title? I have long since given up looking exclusively by title. Even the CW version appears under "Rebel Soldier", The Ballad of the Rebel Soldier", and "The Legend of the Rebel Soldier".

I have just finished going through "The Ballad Poetry of Ireland" edited by Sir Charles G. Duffy and produced by Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, Delmar, NY 1973. This is a reprint of the 40th edition of this text published in Dublin, 1869. I can point out that nothing close to "Shall My Soul..." appears in this text.

Lastly, in an earlier post I raised the question of MacSwiney children. Do you have any input on that subject? Also, are you aware of what might be the best sources to contact in Cork, whether university or private, with questions about MacSwiney? I would appreciate e-mail addresses, if available. I have already contacted a few universities, including the university in Dublin and Trinity College, as regards the song.

Again, thanks for your effort and input.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 05:59 AM

My copy of Galvins book is an Oak Publications reprint of the original Folklore Press text, with copyright date given as 1962. There is also mention of "WMA" which is/was the WOrkers Musical Association. I believe they may have printed a version in the mid-50's. Certainly no earlier.

As to the song itself, I have never seen anything earlier which might have been the model. For what it's worth, my guess is that it was written around the time of the incident - quite possibly by whoever wrote Kevin Barry. I suspect the earliest published versions will be in song booklets - which were very popular in Ireland. They are often undated.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 06:32 AM

I've got a old booklet of songs - probably published by Wzltons in the 1950s, but the paper cover's come off it; and the note on "Shall My Soul pass through Old Ireland" is: "This beautiful ballad was written in 1920 to the hunger strikers in Brixton prison where Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, died."

Which implies that it wasn't exclusively about MacSwiney. That would help explain why his name never comes in at all.

But looking at Bingen on the Rhine, I can't see any particular reason to see it as a model for this song. Everything in the earlier song that might have been drawn on was there in real life.


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM

Zimmerman's book is 1967 - and is subtitled 1780-1900. So it does not contain the song - nor any obvious predecessor.

McGrath - yes, I've seen it in booklets of that type, alright.

Earliest dated reference I've seen is to "The Irish Songbook", published in 1950 in US. Title used is "Shall my soul.." version.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 01:22 PM

Sorry, I didn't look back on this thread until just now. The Zap Publishing info I gave you is all that is written in the Bluegrass Songbook.


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Subject: RE:'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 10:54 PM

Rambler: Upon recieving your PM, I came back to this thread and gave it a more thorough gong-over. I must say I'm impressed with the depth of research you have gone to in order to run this song down! Those of us in the Reenacting community do appreciate fellow Musicians taking the time and effort to authenticate a piece of music to the period prior to performing it in "in carachter", especially when the public is in camp. I'm not at all familiar with this piece, either in it's contemporary incarnation or any earlier works upon which it might be based. Can you direct me to a score, MIDI, or MP-3 of the tune, on the off chance I might recognize it? I have a lot of fairly obscure, forgotten CW period music in my archives, in which I can recall nothing like what you describe, and you can't do much better than the LEVY collection beyond that. I'd say right offhand that your "Rebel Soldier" song is a recent composition on a CW theme, of which there have been many since the Centennial. Nonwithstanding, I will give you a few links from which you may continue your inquiry - I hope that you find them helpful for this and future projects. I'm not going to bother with all that HTML poppycock this time (it's getting late) so you may have to cut & paste these URLs:
http://www.parlorsongs.com/parlorsongs.com/about.html
http://www.delphi.com/cwmusic/messages/
http://members.aol.com/jerund/jerund.html
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/scsmhtml/scsmhome.html
http://www.musicsearch.com/

http://www.pcola.gulf.net/~vbraun/FlaStar/songs/index.html http://sheetmusic.webprovider.com/index.htm

http://www.cwreenactors.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=general

http://www.erols.com/kfraser/

E-mail: Susan HOTH (Collector/Dealer CW Period Music): hoth@peoplepc.com

Uncle Jaque, 3rd Maine Vol. Inf. Field Music


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:28 PM

I am looking at a book - The Tr-Colored Ribbon published in 1966 by Walton's Ltd. 2,3,4 & 5 North Frederick St. Dublin 1.with the lyrics to the song Shall My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland. It says "Air: Kevin Barry." The first three verses match exactly Charlie Moore's he geographic differences, of course.) Now, we know this song was probably written around 1920 at the time of Terence McSwiney's death. I think Charlie Moore's version was written in the 1960's, or late 50's. The Country Gentlemen recorded it in 1971, I believe, on Rebel Records who would probably have apublication date for the song. All the best
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:37 PM

I forgot, the last verse is not included in Charlie Moore's adaptation. It goes: With his heart pure as the lily
And his body sanctified
In that dreary British Prison
Our brave irish rebvel died
Prayed the priest that wish be granted
As in blessing raised his hand
"O, Father, grant this brave man's wish
May his soul pass through Ireland."

"Pure as the lily" may be the words you heard as "Kill-ress-alenee." All the best
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:54 PM

Last evening I heard from the Burns Library at Boston College, which houses their Irish Collection. I had queried them on a MacSwiney biography(see below) as to his marriage and children, in regards to the line in the song:"If you meet my little daughter...". The answers were as follows:

In the Acknowledgement: "Particular gratitude must be expressed by me to Maire(accent on the a) MacSwiney Brugha, Terence MacSwiney's daughter and only child."

On pg. 90 Costello writes"On 8 June 1917, the day after Muriel's 25th birthday, they were married in the Catholic Chapel in the English town of Bromyard."

On pg. 99 Costello writes"On 23 June 1918, Muriel gave birth to a baby girl. She was named Maire after Terence MacSwiney's sister."

It is assumed, from the acknowledgement, that MacSwiney's daughter was still alive shortly before the book went to press in 1995. She gave Costello permission for quoting from her father's works, and the acknowledgement appears to be addressed to her as still living.

What the above tells us is that, if the reference to a little daughter is specifically for MacSwiney, then, at least, it is absolutely historically correct. I will discuss this more in my weekend post.

At this time, what I plan on doing is to outline, possibly this weekend or shortly thereafter, everything that has been learned on this subject in one or two posts. Once that is done, I welcome your posts on whether you agree or disagree. A few of you still have some outstanding questions in my posts. If you could answer them I would appreciate it. In addition, I may send a personal message to a couple of you.

In the meantime, here are the major items that remain oustanding for me:

1. I have some 20 print sources, in my possession, both Irish and CW, that I want to check. 2. I have an inter-library loan request(out of print books) for the two MacSwiney biographies, which may take 2-4 weeks.

3. I am still awaiting responses from Duke music librarian(CW), the director of the Irish Music program at Boston College, and several universities in Ireland.

Despite what is stated in 2 & 3 above, I will still do the summary post(s) described above. If anything comes in, after the summary, that is important and beneficial, I will include it in later posts. I am particularly interested in learning whether either of the biographies mentions the Irish song, and whether there are specific items showing it was written for MacSwiney.

This way we can start to put this question to rest and move on to other subjects. At this time I would just like to say thanks to each of you that bothered to do the research and post the information.

Regards,

Rambler

The biography mentioned above is:

Enduring the Most: The Biography of Terence MacSwiney

Author: Dr. Francis Costello

Published: Ireland and / or England, 1995


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:53 AM

Hi Rambler. I'm afraid my information on Charlie Moore and his "rewrite" is pretty anecdotal. I'm not very good at copying websites and such but I think a perusal of the Bluegrass sites on the net will turn up some information on the "awards" the song won. One of the inherent problems is that liner notes on Bluegrass recordings tend to be woefully inadequate. The companies never expected that their listeners would even be interested in who's playing on the recordings other than the "front man". There should be lots of info on The Country Gentlemen, and their longest member, Charlie Waller.

Sorry I can't be of more help. What I'd do in this case though would be to find a way of contacting Charlie (shouldn't be that hard) and asking him what he knows. My guess is that he won't know too much about the background though. Worth a try.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Rambler
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 04:02 PM

McGrath of Harlow:

In your post of 25 Sept 6:12am you touched upon the song / poem " A Soldier from Missouri". As an adjunct for the Rebel song, I started to check on the "history" of this song and I am coming up empty handed as to a background for this song. It doesn't come up in any search for the song in almost any site you try for CW music, with the exception for 1 or 2. Do we have another situation where the song is considered a CW song ; but in fact is not? However, unlike the Rebel song, I can't find a modern source. Am I just not looking in the right places?

Anyone can chime in on this one, if you can pinpoint some answers to this situaion. I will continue to run some searches to see if some sort of history can be established for this song. If I remember correctly, one source points out that it was being arraigned by Hutchinson, the same person that appears on the sheet music for Bingen. Yet I can't find a history for it in the middle to late 1800(s). Help!

Rambler


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Subject: RE: Help: Verify'The legend of the Rebel Soldier'
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 08:17 AM

I'm following this thread with interest without being able to add some real knowledge. However, if you want to see how Bingen on the Rhine looked like in 1858 (about the time the poem/song was written), click here and scroll down.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Legend of the Rebel Soldier
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 01:01 AM

I'm sorry to be late to this thread, but 20 years ago, an Arlington (VA) bluegrass station DJ did some research on this. The music is definitely the same as Ireland's legendary "Kevin Barry" song, which is a tribute to an 18-year-old rebel who was hanged by the British when he refused to inform on his fellow rebels. The words are completely different, however. Lots of artists recorded this song (including the Clancy Brothers). Lonnie Dunnigan's version is particularly good.

Not too long after Kevin Barry became popular, several Irish singers used the indentical music (but different words) for the song, "Will My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland." I was unaware of the McSwiney connection.

The words of Charlie Moore's American version are eerily similar to the Irish ones and, to me at least, there is little doubt that Moore simply changed a few of them, while keeping the music from the original Kevin Barry song.

I'm a Civil War junkie, including music, and I have come up with zero evidence that The Rebel Soldier even existed in the 1860s, and was not heard in America until the late Charlie Moore first recorded it in the 1970s. His version is good, but not as good as that of The Country Gentlemen. Jimmy Arnold also recorded a nice version.

Incidentally, the Kingston Trio's popular song, "Tom Dooley" first appeared shortly after the Civil War ended. Its music was harsher than that of the trio's and the words slightly different. It was called "Tom Dula."

Finally, the beautiful "Ashogan Farewell" song that became the theme music of Ken Burns' remarkable TV series on the Civil War was first heard in America at a fiddle contest in upstate New York in the 1970s.
The best version of this that I've heard is by the great Irish flautist, James Galway, paired with pianist Philip Coulter.


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